The past few days I've been realizing how far I've come in the past 18 months. Also realizing there are a few areas I still need to work on.
Without even knowing it BFB abd GFB are helping me overcome quite a few years of negative conditioning
It's things like the pic above that keep doing that. The message changes daily, but it's always some version of "I love you because...." I also reciprocate with messages for them.
Everyday I get stronger. Everyday I take another step back toward being me.
Long story short.... Bad marriage, divorce pending, parents I no longer speak to for various reasons. Both with one recurring theme.. Nothing I ever did was good enough, constant anxiety on my part that I wasn't doing something right, that my actions would displease *someone* and that a fight would ensue. He never laid a hand on me, but the emotional aspect of what I now realize was abuse was bad enough. That was for 14 years, carried over from what my parents started when I was little.
It's interesting that I never really realized it was abuse. I'm trained to recognize this in others, but for whatever reason I never saw it in my own relationship. I'm now learning that a lot of what my reality was, isn't how life was supposed to be.
A few months ago I made an 1100 mile road trip to move out here to middle America. At first I rejected offers of a driving buddy. But as the time to leave drew closer I had anxiety about being able to make the trip that far. Alone. I'd never driven that far at all, much less by myself. Problem was I didn't want to make it with someone else either, because all my previous road trip experiences were with the Ex. And those almost inevitably ended up with me in tears at some point, my driving criticized, and having my passenger grabbing for dear life or flinching at every move or lane change or hard braking incident to the point where pulling over and getting out was my only option. And driving in bad weather or heavy traffic... Panic producing, because I was so afraid to have an accident, or that I couldn't handle the heavy traffic. It would just prove that I couldn't do anything right, and was useless.
Needless to say I was glad I accepted BFB's offer to drive with me. It was kind of a running joke with my friends at home that it was gonna be a hell of a test of a relationship (one that up to that point had been 90% long distance) to drive 1100 miles in 2 days. At least everyone thought it was a joke. I was petrified. All turned out well, and we made it in one piece. No fights, no arguments, no tears.
And it wasn't a road trip without incident.... Oh no... My car tried to kill us with a cruise control malfunction on the way to breakfast.... Scary, but relatively easily fixed, and no drama about it. Then the last couple hours of the trip we encountered some SEVERE WEATHER!I was scared enough in the passenger seat. But BFB seemed to have a good handle on things, and I sat quietly... Keeping an eye on the surroundings and the weather radar via phone.
Then we stopped during a break in the weather for gas, and copilot tells me he's fried from driving through the storm, can I drive the rest of the way? Instant panic. The weather looked ok then but I knew it was going to get nasty between there and home. But without saying a word, I drove. Into the worst storm I've ever driven through. And copilot fell asleep in the passenger seat. Snoring. Solid asleep. The ex never trusted me driving in GOOD weather to sleep that soundly.
Since then there have been other times when I'm amazed at how smoothly things go. GFB and I organizing a garage and a basement, building shelves. Together. Without fighting. Shopping trips that don't end on tears, and another shorter road trip with BFB that went off without a hitch.
It's been 4 months of all of us living together, and just a smidge more than a year since we consider all of us "together".
Are things perfect? Heck no. We still fight. We still disagree. We still get cranky and miserable sometimes. But it's not what I was used to. We're all still figuring eachother and our relationship dynamics out...but I feel comfortable, and I feel safe. That's a long way from where I was at the end of 2012. Some of that's me, and some of that is 2 wonderful people showing me everyday what it means to be loved.
Thank you, and I love you with all my heart.
I may still have my moments, the insecurities aren't just going to go away, but every day I get better.